MALAITA has accused two of its national MPs of betraying the province when they invited and led a Chinese delegation to their respective constituencies early this week.
Premier Daniel Suidani said Baegu/Asifola MP Makario Tagini and Fataleka MP Rex Ramofafia’s behaviour is “disrespectful and a betrayal of the provincial government”.
Honiara-based China’s acting ambassador to Solomon Islands Yao Ming had told the Solomon Star after his visit they wanted to improve health facilities in Malaita.
But Suidani said Tagini and Ramofafia should know well that Malaita, under the Auki communique, will not allow any Chinese Communist Party involvement in the province’s development.
“Yet the two acted arrogantly and disrespectfully in sneaking into Malaita Province officials from the office of China,” the premier said.
“There action is seen as a betrayal of the people of Malaita Province and as their premier, I am very disappointed,” he added.
Suidani said his government is opposed to China’s involvement in Malaita because it’s a communist country with a communist government.
“Malaita is against the ideology of communism.
“That is the bottom line.
“We do not want anything to do with communism in our province.
“Let me make it loud and clear: any Malaitan leader who acted in contrary to the Auki Communique will be seen as anti-Malaitan.
“We, therefore, viewed Tagini and Ramofafia as anti-Malaita leaders.
“That’s because they do not respect the position of the provincial government.”
On the argument that Malaita Provincial Government is an agent of the national government, Suidani said:
“Laws do not exist in a vacuum.
“Therefore be very careful when you make your decisions.
“There are fundamental aspects of life that go beyond the written laws and one cannot just use laws and the hierarchy of our government system to bulldoze your way around them.
“One must show respect and dignity so that the same can be given back to you.
“Let me remind the people of Malaita that the provincial government is working closely with the national government under the National Transport Core Initiative.
“NTCI is a multi-million dollar infrastructure project that is supported by our traditional donors.
“The project involves the building of new roads and bridges around Malaita and a ferry connecting Malaita and Honiara.
“The North East road including the Fouia to Manu road is already costed and is included in the NTCI project.
“Why the push for the Chinese to come into a space that is already under a project that is ongoing is something we do not understand.
“I have been thoroughly informed that Cardno of Australia has already compiled a concept on this project.
“Even more importantly some of our own elite Malaitans are part of the project design.
“The MARA government encourages the involvement of our own people in this kind of big undertakings.
“The knowledge and experience gained by our Malaitans in such high-level projects is crucial for the long term development and sustainability of important infrastructure projects like this.
“Let’s stop, think, and appreciate that development is not a one-off exercise.
“We need to prepare ourselves for the longer term and the only way to do this is to involve some of our people right at the top of such developments at the beginning.”
Information reaching Solomon Star office Auki stated that the visit by the PRC representative and two MPs to Baegu Asifola and Fataleka bring mixed reactions from the two constituencies.
Information obtained stated there is strong opposition by land-owning tribes against any development that comes from China.
Meanwhile, information the Solomon Star received at its Auki office suggests the visit was received with mixed reactions in the two constituencies.
Some say the two MPs are “playing with fire”.
Tagini and Ramofafia were initially part of the Opposition group in parliament.
But they jumped camp and join the Government after they were invited to be part of the Taskforce that recommended the switch from Taiwan to China last September.
By WILSON SAENI